Too Long, Too Foreign... Too Jewish?: Rise of Jewish Name Changing in New York City Between the Wars

Kirsten Fermaglich
Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University
Sunday November 17
1:30 p.m.

We tend to think of name changing as something that only immigrants do - or perhaps movies stars - hoping to escape their families and find their way in a glamorous, rich, New World. But beginning in World War I and intensifying during World War II, thousands of native-born American Jews in New York City changed their names together as family units. Why would these ordinary Jewish Americans seeking jobs not as actors or singers, but as businessmen, lawyers, and secretaries change their names? We'll discuss their motivations, their experiences, and their struggles.


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Free for members of Jewish Genealogy Society